Greek activist supporting the Palestinians celebrates birthday in Israeli jail
Palestine-Israel-Greece, Politics, 7/18/2006
Maria Nikiforou celebrated today her thirty-fourth birthday in isolation in the Ben Gurion detention center, International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
Israeli security put Maria in isolated detention in Ben Gurion Airport on July 14 and is denying her entry, saying that she is a security threat to Israel. Yesterday the authorities took away her cell phone, even though it is allowed for detainees to have their cell phones in this facility.
This is the second international in the last two months that has been denied entry to Israel because of their affiliations with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
The ISM is a Palestinian-led movement supporting Palestinian non-violent resistance to the occupation and Apartheid Wall. Their activities include demonstrations, accompaniment to farmers' land, and documentation of human right's abuses.
Maria's lawyers filed an appeal on her behalf, and the Israeli authorities has responded saying that the reason that she is denied entry is because she is a member of the ISM, and she didn't state that upon entry to the airport. The judge is expected to set a court date within the next few days.
Maria was in 2005 in the West Bank village Bil'in where she participated in the non-violent struggle against the Israeli seperation Wall.
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